Best Travel Humidifiers

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

28 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
259 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best travel humidifiers

Last Updated December 2019

Are you looking for a cost-effective way to improve air quality in a small space? Hotel rooms, offices, cubicles, and even cars can all benefit from travel humidifiers. Travel humidifiers introduce humidity by dispersing a cool or warm mist into the air. For allergy sufferers, moisture is essential to maintaining a comfortable breathing environment. Humidifiers are also helpful in preventing nosebleeds and dry skin.

Less is more with travel humidifiers, and the more convenient their design, the better. Unlike household humidifiers, travel models feature much smaller bases and tanks. Certain styles forgo tanks altogether and simply use a standard water bottle instead. For even more convenience, some travel humidifiers are cordless to avoid the fuss of finding a nearby power outlet.

Breathe easy in your space with a travel humidifier. Our buying guide has everything you need to consider when shopping, including how much you should pay. For our five favorite travel humidifiers, see the matrix above.

Unless specified on the packaging or in the user manual, don’t use essential oils with travel humidifiers. Oils are too thick and will end up clogging the machine.

Key considerations

Types of travel humidifiers

Tabletop travel humidifiers take up the most space because they feature larger tank capacities, between eight and 32 ounces. For the most part, they either come with the tank attached to the base, or they require a standard water bottle for operation.

Car travel humidifiers fit in cup holders, and their tanks are around 16 ounces. They aren’t the most powerful travel humidifiers you can find, but they do a good job inside your car. You may need to adjust your AC ventilation in a way that helps circulate the mist better, however.

Straw-style models are the smallest travel humidifiers available, which is why they’re preferred by commuters, students, and professionals. They don’t have tanks at all. Instead, you place them in a filled water bottle or vase for operation. Keep in mind that the bottle or vase should be somewhat weighted to support the humidifier and prevent spills.

Mist

Travel humidifiers spray either a cool or warm mist – but not both as offered by some full-size humidifiers. Warm-mist travel humidifiers are ideal for adding warm moisture to dry rooms, a common issue when heating is turned on during the winter months. Most travel humidifiers are cool-mist models, however. These humidifiers rehydrate the atmosphere and are ideal for combating dry eyes and nasal passages.

Power source

Cordless travel humidifiers are especially popular for international travel as they eliminate the need for converters and adapters. If you prefer being plugged in instead of burning through batteries, rest assured there are travel humidifiers that offer more than one power option, including AC adapters and micro USB cords. Car models are usually powered through micro USB cords that are plugged into power adapters.

EXPERT TIP

When you’re traveling out of the country, be sure to bring the correct power adapter for your travel humidifier and other electronics.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Continuous runtime

Continuous runtime is the recommended amount of time that the humidifier can run at an optimal rate. In some cases, the runtime takes into consideration battery life, whereas other runtimes are based on how long it takes to deplete a full tank. On average, if there’s a regular power feed, travel humidifiers have runtimes between six and 20 hours.

Intermittent mist

To optimize your runtime, some travel humidifiers have intermittent mist modes. Instead of a continuous mist, the humidifier sprays every few minutes or hourly. Only some humidifiers let you change the intermittent mist schedule, and these tend to cost more than other models.

Automatic shutoff

Some travel humidifiers turn off after periods of inactivity to save power, which is ideal if you have a battery-powered model. Automatic shutoff is also a safety feature in some humidifiers to prevent personal injury and fire hazards. These models turn off as soon as the water is depleted or when the tank becomes dislodged from the base.

Rotating nozzle

One of the most sought-after features of travel humidifiers is a rotating nozzle. With a rotating nozzle, it’s easy to turn the mist toward your immediate area as opposed to the mist simply shooting upward. A rotating nozzle is ideal if you prefer concentrated moisture on your face as well, especially if you’re using the humidifier as part of your skincare routine.

Mist modes

Some travel humidifiers allow you to adjust the mist modes. You’ll either have a dial with several options or a button that transitions between two or three modes. The more powerful the mode, the louder your humidifier will operate, even with quiet models.

Quiet operation

If you share space with coworkers, it’s worth choosing a travel humidifier with quiet operation to maintain workplace harmony. Some models have quiet modes, are advertised as “baby-friendly,” or offer whisper-quiet technology. Noiseless operation for these devices isn’t really an option, so the quietest models will still have a faint buzzing.

Carrying convenience

It’s one thing to place your travel humidifier into checked baggage on a trip, but it’s another story if you need it to fit it in your backpack, carry-on, or purse on a regular basis. The best space-savers are tankless models that use water bottles. These base-only travel humidifiers are as compact as you can get, and they sometimes come with their own carrying cases.

EXPERT TIP

To maximize humidity in your hotel room while you sleep, place the travel humidifier on the bedside table.


Staff  | BestReviews

Travel humidifier prices

Travel humidifiers range between $14 and $40, and the price mostly depends on their quality and the complexity of their features.

Budget-friendly travel humidifiers cost less than $20. They have the smallest tanks or must be placed in a water bottle or vase in lieu of an attached tank. Their reliability is fair, so they’re best suited for occasional use.

Mid-range travel humidifiers cost between $20 and $30. This price range includes car models as well as tabletop models with adjustability features. They have larger tanks, and since they’re more efficient, they tend to have quieter operation.

Premium models cost closer to $40. These are the most reliable models, so if you plan to use a travel humidifier daily, you should consider units in this range. Some models have advanced features like soothing LED light shows, essential oil filters, or multiple power options.

EXPERT TIP

If the travel humidifier has an unusually bright power light, you can cover it with a small piece of electrical tape to minimize the distraction.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Car coffee drinkers, be warned. If you’re using a travel humidifier and drink coffee while you’re driving, pay attention when you’re drinking. If you try to place your coffee in the humidifier’s cup holder, you might end up with a big mess.
  • Travelers should choose battery-operated models. Globetrotters can save their power adapters for other electronics if their travel humidifier is battery-powered. In this case, it’s a good idea to bring spare batteries on the trip as well.
  • Keep away from electronics. While humidifiers are ideal for keeping you hydrated and moisturized, they can also have this effect if placed too close to electronics. As electronics should be cool and dry, introducing moisture could compromise their operation and damage internal components.
  • Clean it regularly. It’s a good idea to take your travel humidifier apart for regular cleaning. Not only will you be able to notice any damage or quality issues, you’ll be able to remove dust and mold, which affect air quality and may trigger allergic reactions in some people.

Other products we considered

If you’re looking for a car-friendly travel humidifier, we like the CACAGOO Cool Mist Car Humidifier. This nifty little model fits into cup holders and offers quiet operation while you drive. It emits a fine, cool mist into the air to keep your car at an optimal humidity level. If you use its intermittent spray mode, you’ll extend the time between refills. This humidifier also features a leakless design, so if it falls over, you won’t have soaked floor mats.

We like the simple, lightweight design of the Pure Enrichment MistAire Travel Humidifier. This ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier only requires a standard water bottle for operation. With variable mist settings, you can humidify a space as small as a cubicle or as large as a hotel room. It even comes with its own carrying case, a travel AC adapter, and a brush cleaner. With a five-year warranty and a record of quality customer support, you won’t be disappointed.

Sometimes your office atmosphere is dry, and you don’t have much control over it. To make yourself more comfortable, invest in a travel humidifier for your desk. Look for a low-noise model so as not to disturb your coworkers.

FAQ

Q. My travel humidifier uses a water bottle as a tank. Can I use an extra-large bottle to keep it running longer?
A.
Standard water bottles are approximately 16 ounces, while large bottles can be as large as 32 ounces. The user manual will indicate which bottle sizes are compatible with your travel humidifier. It’s a good idea to follow the guidelines, especially since the humidifier base is designed to support a limited amount of weight. If the water bottle is too big or heavy, it’s at risk of falling over and spilling.

Q. Can I use a regular travel humidifier in my vehicle?
A.
In your RV, you can use a standard travel humidifier, but not in your car. RVs have tables and plenty of space to put a tabletop travel humidifier. Cars, on the other hand, are best served by cup-holder humidifiers. Cup holders offer the most secure way to ensure the humidifier doesn’t fall over while you’re driving.

Q. Can I use a travel humidifier in a tent?
A.
Yes, but you’ll have limited success if you open vents or mesh areas as the mist will just escape. On the other hand, if you keep the tent completely sealed, the humidifier will be effective. That said, since not all tent materials are breathable, you could end up with a sweltering environment inside.

Q. Will a travel humidifier affect the plant on my desk?
A.
Yes, in a good way. A travel humidifier and a plant are a winning combination to promote a healthy breathing environment. By adding moisture to the air, your plant has a new way to hydrate in addition to regular watering. Plants emit oxygen, and the mist of the humidifier will help disperse it around your general area and promote better air quality.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Rich
    Rich
    Writer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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